Thursday, September 16, 2021

Apple Cancels AFI Fest Premiere of ‘The Banker’ Amid Disturbing Allegations Surrounding Film

Apple’s ‘The Banker’

*Apple canceled the premiere of the movie “The Banker” at the American Film Institute’s annual festival after unspecified “concerns were raised involving the [film’s] real-life subjects.”

According to Deadline, “The Banker” was scheduled to have its World Premiere in Hollywood Thursday night, but was replaced with Netflix’s Marriage Story, which is already in theatrical release.

The film stars Anthony Mackie as the late Bernard Garrett Sr. in the true story set in 1963 about Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) who were accused of committing mortgage fraud by giving loans to Black people in segregated America. The film also stars Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult as the businessman used by the two partners to negotiate deals with white bankers in person.

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The controversy behind the AFI drama reportedly centers on a family member, who has shared some disturbing allegations about Garrett Sr’s son, Bernard Garrett Jr. to at least one Hollywood trade paper which is planning a story, Deadline reports.

Here is Apple’s official statement on the AFI Fest cancellation:

“We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film’s entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy. Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering The Banker at AFI Fest,” the statement reads.

“We support Apple’s decision to postpone the premiere of The Banker,” said an AFI Fest spokesperson. “Fortunately our partners at Netflix have generously allowed us to screen their critically acclaimed Marriage Story to close out AFI Fest at the TCL Chines Theatre.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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